The Disabled and Home Defense
We live in a world that has an unfortunate amount of predators in it. Fortunately these two legged vermin are rare when compared to the rest of the populace, but they are still predators we should be aware of. Predators makes them sound dangerous, but in reality they tend to prey on the weak because they aren’t looking for a fight. Disabled people fall into a category that makes them appear to be weak, and an easy target. Thankfully the disabled have a great equalizer they can utilize, the gun and their mind.
My wife is a disabled person with a serious stomach condition that severely limits what and how much she can eat. This condition forces her to carry a backpack, pump, and a source of liquid food that allows her to live. This condition leaves her with reduced strength, which includes her hand and arm strength. She’s tired quite often from carrying the heavy backpack, and a general lack of nutrition. She’s also very small and petite. She appears to be the perfect victim, but fortunately she carries everyday, and is plenty competent.
As I trained and instructed her with firearms we discovered we had to find firearms that would work for her. This led us on a bit of an expensive journey of trying a variety of firearms to find that perfect model for her.
As I mentioned she has reduced hand strength, so a heavy pistols was a no go, more automatic pistols were too hard for her to rack reliably, and nothing exceptionally powerful since she couldn’t control the recoil. The first weapon she really enjoyed was the Ruger LCR in 38 special.
Revolvers, especially 38 Specials, are excellent for those with weak hands and the disabled for many reasons,
- No slides to rack to cock the weapon.
- No chance of limp wristing causing a failure
- Can fire a variety of different loads for different purposes
The main issue with many revolvers and those with reduced hand strength is the heavy double action trigger that can be difficult to pull. The LCR features a very lightweight trigger pull and was very easy for her to utilize.
Another method to address weak hand strength is tip up barrel handguns. Specifically models produced by Taurus and Beretta models. Tip up refers to the barrel, which when unlocked can be tipped up and manually loaded instead of relying on a slide. Beretta produced tip up models in 22, 25 ACP, 32 ACP, and 380 ACP for decades, but have now gone to only producing models in 22, 25 and 32. Taurus also produces essentially the same weapons, but a hair cheaper.
The main problem with these calibers is there inherent weakness. However if one can find a Beretta Model 86, the tip up 380, then the weapon would be an excellent option.
Another option for some maybe the new 9mm Walther CCP. I originally purchased this weapon for myself, but my wife quickly fell in love with it. First off the weapon requires almost no strength to rack the weapon. The trigger pull is long, but lightweight. The weapon can hold 8 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber, giving it a total of 9 rounds. This is nearly double the capacity of her revolver and magazine fed makes it much easier to reload.
The weapon uses a gas retardant system that Walther calls Softcoil technology. This lowers the felt recoil nicely, making it much easier to shoot. The weapon is blowback operated which makes it harder to limp wrist and cause failures with.
When it came to home defense we looked at a little bigger of an option. In general we wanted an easy to use long gun for her to saddle up with and defend herself until the police arrived. We started with a Remington 870 youth model in 20 gauge which she could handle well. Her main issue was she was afraid she would not pump it fast enough or fail to pump it fully, and it had a relatively low capacity. She just didn’t have the confidence in it.
So we wanted a long gun, with low recoil, a higher capacity, and it needed to be light recoiling, easy to use, and lightweight. Do you know what fits this specification perfectly? An AR 15, carbine variant, with an adjustable stock and a short barrel. My main concern was the muzzle concussion and noise inside of a home. As a Marine I had experienced the effect of firing a rifle in doors and it’s not pleasant, so we had to address that as well.
She did fall in love with the AR and found it extremely easy to use, and could shoot it extremely well. We chose to avoid the 5.56 cartridge and went with the 300 Blackout, of course this round is still loud, but the concussion is bit easier on the shooter. We plan to equip the weapon with a suppressor in the future but for now a set of earmuffs rests beside the weapon. If possible her plan is to throw the ear pro on before shooting, if it’s not possible then it’s not.
Other options for many folks are lightweight youth model shotguns like I mentioned. A popular option are pistol caliber carbines. A semi automatic rifle chambered in 9mm, 40 S&W, or 45 ACP can be an easy to use weapon for home defense. Carbines like the Just Right carbine, and the Kel Tec Sub 2000 are well designed and easy to handle options.
For those who may have an arm or hand disabled then a pistol is still a viable option. I would suggest getting a full sized pistol, like a Glock 17, or SIG P226 with as big a magazine as you can handle. Also look to options like adding a flashlight to the weapon.
The Best weapon
The absolute best weapon any shooter can have is universal to all shooters. Young, old, fat, skinny, man, woman, disabled, etc. That weapon is the mind. Practicing situational awareness and being aware of your surroundings can be the greatest weapon you have. The earlier you can detect and identify a threat means you have more time to make decisions, call for help, or simply escape. Always engage your mind before you engage your weapon.